Members Notice Board

The shop has a limited number available, of  Chronos Engineering :

SCT Tailstock Crown Revolving Live Centres MT2 Diamond Head

MT2 3/8"   £23

MT2 1"     £24

These are exceptionally good prices compared with most others on the market!


** Request to all members who have outstanding books and/or DVDs from the club library, to return them as soon as possible in order that other club members can enjoy them *


 The club now has its own Facebook Page :

A Saturday Workshop


***The prizes for the monthly raffle now include a voucher which can either be used in the club shop, or for the purchase of timber from Brian.***

Reg Bailey Cup Entries 2017


Buddy Scheme :


It has been suggested that the club starts a "Mentor" scheme for new members and novice turners.

With this in mind, a list of club members willing to act as mentors will be posted on the notice board, with their telephone number and area of residence.

Any new member or novice who may wish to avail him/herself of this opportunity, please contact the volunteer mentor directly.

Similarly, if any of our advanced turners wish to join the scheme as mentors, please add their details to the list.


Those Advanced Members volunteering to act as mentors so far:

Tony Harvey (Thatcham Area)

John Austin (Newbury Area)

Denis Winter (Newbury Area)





Chairman's Report


I am pleased to report that the club has again enjoyed a busy and active year, with some fine demonstrations and great participation by the members both at Tuesday meetings and Saturday workshops

The spirit and enthusiasm of the members continues unabated.  We are all grateful for the efforts of those who help at club meetings and participate keenly in the activities. The move back to Padworth Village Hall has been a success and the new layout for demos has proved to be practical.


People come and people go, but the membership now stands at 68 paid up members, with two lapsed members also wishing to re-join.

Monthly Meetings:

Monthly meetings continue to be well supported including the members’ evenings.  The monthly competition also continues to be well supported, with a very high standard in all groups. A change to the judging arrangements earlier this year means that each category now has its own judge to score all entrants in that category.  Thanks to John Austin for his work implementing the new process.  Most of last year’s Novices have moved to the Intermediate category which demonstrates the progression they have made.  I would urge all new members to enter the monthly competition as a sure-fire way of enhancing their skills.  The numbers competing in both intermediate and advanced sections remains strong with some striking pieces being produced.The Saturday Workshop continues from strength to strength, with the January workshop attracting 29 members – a record.  It is good to see so many members taking advantage of the Club’s facilities, and learning so much from each other.  Each month, novice members bring their tools in to learn the black art of tool sharpening.  Thanks to Derek Prout for his patient tuition here. 

Two highlights of the year were one Autumn Saturday when we had a real treat to have Mick Hanbury do an impromptu demo on finishing, using iridencent paints, not to mention a handful of cling film.  The results were stunning and the Club Shop now stocks Jo Sonia paints at a discount.  The second highlight was one Summer members’ evening where we had four teams making skittles and balls to a plan.  Thanks to Denis Winter and Tony Harvey for planning that evening and drawing up the plans.  We made a complete set of 9 skittles, which then sold at the Thatcham festival.


The club did not apply for any grants in 2016, but do plan to apply for a grant in September 2017 to upgrade the video equipment with wi-fi cameras, resulting in fewer cables to set up each night.  Watch this space!

Outside Events:

The club attended 3 outside events in 2016.

1. Demo at Axminster Store Basingstoke in November 2016.  This was not well attended by the Public and we may not attend another unless pushed to do so

2.  The Aldermaston and Wasing Show, September 2016.  This was not well attended last year, partly due to the weather and partly due to a change in organization. The Committee are considering attendance at the Swallowfield Show as an alternative, which promises 4000 visitors over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

3. The Thatcham Festival of Arts, October 2016.  This was well attended and we sold both the skittles set and the Club’s long standing Chess Set, which all helped raise money for the Club, resulting in a donation of £20.00 to the Mayor’s Fund. As always there was strong interest shown in our demonstrations and displays, and many useful inquiries regarding club membership.


May I say a big thank you to the committee and all those members who helped to set up, man the stands, and help convey equipment between Padworth and these venues. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee for all their hard work and support throughout the year.  Also, I would like to thank all those members who have carried out auxiliary tasks, which are a considerable help to the committee, to ensure the smooth running of the club.  These include  the library, club shop, door attendance, monthly competition, and welcome member.  A special thanks to John Tuck who has been selling raffle tickets on the door ever since I joined.  John now has retired as he cannot always guarantee attendance.  Thanks also go to Brian Collins for his continued service to the club, in providing a variety of wood blanks for sale.

Also retiring as Manager of the Club Shop is Nigel Amor, who has given many years of service.  I hope we will elect his replacement this evening.

To Sum up:

2016 has been yet another successful year for the club.

Membership is up and growing, and attendance at Club demos, Members’ evenings and Saturday Workshops remains strong.

Our finances are reasonably strong but we need to be cautious of the future and guard against rising costs.  The committee will present proposals to you later in the proceedings in this regard.

Thanks to Phil Boulter for arranging another year of interesting demonstrators, managing to balance their entertainment value against their fess and travel costs.

May I remind members that there will be a chance to discuss any Club-related issues in our Club forum after the formal part of the AGM is over.  Thank you.


The Club Tool Bank

Members are reminded that the club has a selection of tools available in the "Tool Bank". These items are available to borrow in order to try out more unusual tools at home before perhaps contemplating an expensive purchase. The cost is only £5 for the loan, but a £15 refundable deposit will be required.

Tools Available :

The Allen Beecham 'Skewigouge'

A Henry Taylor large bowl gouge with interchangeable ends(x4), inc. hollowing bit.

A selection of thread chasing tools 18 & 20 TPI + recess cutter.

A Robert Sorby texturing tool with selection of cutters.

A Robert Sorby hollowing tool.

A large Roly Munro hollowing tool.

An arm rest for supporting various gouges and thread chasers.


 An Interesting read :

The Bucklebury Bowl Turners

When things are commonplace they are often taken for granted but when the ‘everyday’ nears extinction we sit up, take notice and begin to realise the value of what has become unique. This was in some measure the story of George William Lailey (1869—1958), bowl turner of Bucklebury Common, Berkshire. Both George Lailey’s father and grand father (both named William) were bowl turners producing bowls of various sizes, plus a few platters, bread boards and handled scoops from the local Elm. Although Elm predominated occasionally other local timbers were used such as Chestnut, Sycamore and Beech.

The common was an isolated idyll of rural England, a mixture of open heath and mixed woodland surrounded by a scattered community of small cottages and farmsteads. Last century the Lailey home was a cottage on the edge of the common at Miles Green where the family was also engaged in farming.

The fascinating thing about the Laileys was that all their work was turned on a pole lathe that would not have been out of place in an Anglo Saxon workshop. It always amazes (and pleases) me that occasionally an antiquated tradition can compete successfully with modern techniques over a sustained period. By 1900 power lathes were readily available and in common use yet we see George Lailey using the pole lathe right up till the day he died on December 15th 1958 aged 89 years. His death is fittingly commemorated with a wooden grave board a stones throw from the common he was so much a part of.

By the end of the 19th century when much hand work had fallen prey to the industrial revolution the Laileys were as busy as ever. The aesthetic movement, a reappreciation of things made by hand and a revolt against mass production was spearheaded by the likes of William Morris. For a while the new arts and crafts movement was strong enough to sustain a demand for craftsman made, artisan quality items. About this time the Laileys (both father and son George) were supplying Harrods and other leading London stores with bowls varying from as small as 3 inches up to a whopping 24 inches in diameter. They ranged in price from fourpence ( less than two new pence) to seven shillings (thirty-seven new pence) in 1907. A visitor to the workshop at this period counted 380 bowls of differing sizes and in various stages of completion.

George’s father died in 1912 but he carried on much as before, his mother helping to cut the logs with a cross cut saw. The First World War brought further business in the form of wooden ladles, one of his specialities, these were to be used for the handling of gunpowder. These ladles were very time consuming to make. The ladle bowl and handle were made from one piece of wood, wasteful of material and quite tricky to make.

 A visit from the writer of country matters, H, V, Morton resulted in favourable publicity upon the publication of ’ In Search of England’ (1924). From this date people increasingly beat a path to the bowl turners door, he was now a celebrity. By now he was signing and dating the bottoms of his bowls in pencil at the invitation of visitors and collectors. They seldom left his workshop without taking a black and white snapshot as proof of their visit, and nor without signing his visitors book.The old wooden hut contained two pole lathes, the oldest said to be 150 years old and the only thing left standing when the original one blew down towards the end of the 19th century. A new wooden building was raised around the lathe and life continued as normal.Although Elm bowls were the staple product other items were made from time to time. George’s grandfather used to make weighing scales of the type used in certain shops before strict county council laws came in force. The scales consisted of two turned shallow dishes each suspended by cord from each end of an arm that pivoted at the top of a turned vertical Standard.

Large Elm logs were delivered to Bucklebury Common or near to the family cottage at Miles Green. They stood in a pile for at least two years before being converted into bowl blanks. By this time most of the bark had fallen of and the timber became ‘kind’. A long crosscut saw was used to cut the wood into bowl lengths, which in turn were sawn length ways to produce half log sections. Each half log was then trimmed into hemispheres using a side axe.

The Lailey lathe was typical of its type, incorporating a 17-inch pole, either of ash or the preferred alder as the spring return mechanism, and a flat leather strap fixed between it and a foot treadle. A four-pronged mandrill known as a ‘mamper’ was driven into the bowl blank with the other end fixed into the tailstock or ‘poppet’ and the bowl blank into the Headstock. The leather strap was wrapped around the mamper and with a downward thrust of the foot treadle the blank revolved towards the turner and his tools. The motion was reciprocal with the spring of the pole returning the treadle to its original position. When not in use a careful worker fastened the treadle so as not to put a strain on the pole, it was then said to be ‘dressed’.

Bowls were ‘roughed out’ and put aside for about ten days, great care being taken not to expose them to direct sunlight or to much wind. Some of these part-finished bowls inevitably warped somewhat, these where filled with damp shavings, placed upside down and covered with more shavings for a further period of time.

When ‘roughed out’ bowls were returned to the lathe. The out side was first turned true, the bowl was then reversed, the edge trued and the interior completed. Beeswax and turmeric root was kept in a small bowl on top of the Headstock and was applied to the bowl as it spun in the lathe to create a bright yellow polish. After the bowl was taken from the lathe the centre projection (core) where the mamper was fixed needed to be removed, this was achieved using the ‘topping adze’. The rough centre was finally ‘cleaned up’ and finished using a small curve bladed spokeshave.

One of the Laileys specialities was turning ‘nests’ of bowls, as many as five from one large bowl blank. This of course was a very economical use of timber but required a great deal of skill in manoeuvring the long curved shanks of the tools as they entered and followed a sweeping course into the centre of the wood.

Most Bucklebury tools were of the hooked variety, many having long handles and shanks terminating in a very small hook. These were fashioned by the turner himself. When an edge broke the tool was put in the fire and remade by hammering to a fine point and pulling it into a new hook profile. It was heated once more until a bright Purple Blue colour was reached and then plunged into cold water to temper it. Small fine-grained slip stones kept in a small bowl of water were stored nearby to sharpen the tool edges. Sometimes the fine hook edges got too hot during turning and needed to be dunked into cold water to preserve their temper.

In 1907 George Lailey recalled being visited by a local lady whom he had not seen for some while, she had a complaint regarding one of his bowls bought thirty years previously. It had become worn and thin due to daily use, she said

‘ I sposed I must ave another '



Good sites to visit  : 

                                  for lots of "How to" videos.



Phil Bouter

Club Vice Chairman